Common Mistakes When Building a Home

For many people, building a home comes with horror stories of things gone wrong. Those same people will usually justify the stress by claiming it was worth the headache to realize the house of their dreams. If you are looking into new home construction, steer clear of the most common mistakes so you can come closer to your own dream home. Here's what to avoid:

Not hiring a construction professional. Many home builders choose to hire a contractor who doesn't specialize in new home construction or choose to use a part-time builder. When you choose a professional who has been in the business for a while, you gain the advantage of their years of experience, reliable subcontractors and more consistent quality in the finished home. Often, professionals can negotiate price, avoid costly mistakes and are familiar enough with the building process to anticipate what lies ahead. The contractor is also the point person to communicate any issues to the subcontractors, avoiding costly mistakes and miscommunications.

Making changes to the home design after construction has started. Once the plans are approved, any changes to them result in cost increases. Whether you change the floor plan or want to move some plumbing outlets around, these changes affect the plans, the construction schedule and ordering of supplies. When building a house, these will definitely result in extra charges. Often, changes won't be covered by the builder's warranty either.

Not allowing enough time and money for home building. That is, make plans to cover unexpected costs and allow time in the schedule for delays-that doesn't mean either will happen, but you don't want to hold up your project for lack of funds, nor do you want to have subcontractors have to wait because the part of the process before them is not finished. In short, be flexible.

Don't expect perfection. The reality rarely matches the vision. Be realistic and open-minded about what is taking place during construction. However, even though your idea of perfection in home construction will not likely happen, that doesn't mean you should allow imperfections (that is, minor or drastic issues that can be corrected) to slip through. Flat-out errors must be changed as well, according to the building contract.

Performing work on the home yourself to save money. Experienced tradesmen are the best bet for working on your home, unless you actually work in the construction industry. Besides adding to the anxiety and stress of a long and lengthy process, putting in sweat equity may not result in as much savings in the long run. Instead, put the time and energy into planning and designing an efficient and workable home to realize significant savings and leave the construction to the professionals.

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